Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Toxins I- Air

Q: Do you need to detoxify?

A: Do you breathe? Do you eat? Or drink water? Then the answer is YES!

Over time, toxins build up in the body due to pollutants in the air we breath, chemicals in the food and water we consume, and a variety of other ways.
AIR POLLUTION
Air pollution is contamination of the air by harmful substances. Over time, exposure to the chemicals and harmful particles can cause
  • cancer
  • birth defects
  • brain and nerve damage
  • injury to the lungs and breathing passages
If your family has a history of heart attacks, take note- dust and particulates from smokestacks and especially from diesel exhaust are suspected of increasing the number of deaths from heart attacks by affecting the heart's ability to maintain it's rhythm.

Air pollution has considerably thinned the ozone layer meant to protect us, allowing the dangerous radiation from sun to cause cancer, birth defects and more.

Indoor air pollution is almost as big of an issue as the outdoor kind. In the U.S., most people spend 80- 90% of their time indoors. This is a larger problems in northern climates where the winter weather tends to keep people inside. Faulty air conditioning, poor maintenance of heating and cooling systems, and gas emissions from carpeting, paints, paneling, computers, plastic, furniture, etc... all contribute to this ever growing problem.

THE MAJOR AIR POLLUTANTS

CARBON MONOXIDE ( CO )
  • Colorless, odorless, and poisonous
  • After inhalation, the CO molecules enter the blood stream via the lungs. They bind with red blood cells, preventing them from picking up Oxygen. Lack of cellular oxygenation can result in dizziness, headaches, fatigue, or ultimately, death.
  • Most commonly created by automobile engines, and even wood burning stoves.
CARBON DIOXIDE ( CO2 )

  • As we use Oxygen, we generate Carbon Dioxide with every exhale. The good news is, plants that use photosynthesis, take in the Carbon Dioxide and excrete Oxygen (good).
  • The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is on the rise as a result of the increase in the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the more of it that is in the atmosphere, the warmer the climate will become. i.e. global warming.
CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS ( CFCs )

  • Used widely in industry, especially in refrigerant and air conditioning systems.
  • When released into the atmosphere, all CFCs rise into the stratosphere, and through a series of chemical reactions, the ozone becomes depleted, allowing in harmful UV radiation. This increases the incidence of skin cancers and other related problems.
HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS ( HAPs )

  • General class of chemicals that can cause serious health and environmental effects. (cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, and even death.)
  • Most are produced in chemical plants, by diesel emissions, etc...
  • Examples of these chemicals are :
Acrolein, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Beryllium, Arsenic, and others.

LEAD

  • Highly toxic metal
  • No longer in gasoline or consumer products, but there are still large amounts in the environment such as lead paint, lead piping, and lead contaminated dust and soil from years of lead emission.
  • For more information:
National Lead Information Center http://www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm

OZONE ( O3 )

  • Is a form of oxygen, having three atoms rather than two. Is toxic and damaging to our health, environment, trees, and crops.
  • Health problems caused by Ozone exposure are breathing and lung related.
PARTICULATE MATTER

  • Any type of solid material in the air in the form of dust, smoke, or vapor which can remain suspended for a long amount if time.
  • Affects EVERYONE! City people: heavy traffic and industrial pollution. Farmers: soil dust, chemical vapors, fertilizer, etc...
  • Breathing in these particulates can be very dangerous to your health, possibly resulting in respiratory or heart problems.
  • Particulates can also pick up other toxic elements such as metals, aerosols, etc...
There are TONS of pollutants floating around in the air you breathe. The above listed are just a few! Not that I want you to stop breathing, but just realize how toxic everyday life can be and the importance of cleansing your body of these harmful things.

More to come on toxins.....

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